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05 May 2010

How bad was the government's insulation scheme, really?

Some months ago, I read a piece in Crikey which analysed the numbers on the insulation scheme - and how much they increased risk for the people who had used it.

I found the numbers fascinating. Basically, they show that the risk of fire from insulation, per insulation, was actually reduced by the introduction of the scheme, and the extra regulation and safety measures it brought in.

I won't rehash all the details here. You can look them up in the original Crikey article.

But I did want to say that it's not entirely unbelievable. The insulation scheme actually introduced safety regulations to an industry that previously had absolutely none - so however much the opposition wants to claim that the safety measures "didn't go far enough"... at least they went somewhere.

What I am seriously disappointed by is: if these figures and analysis have any basis in reality, then the government has completely failed to explain this to anyone, and has, apparently, simply walked away from the issue because it was a "hot potato". These figures don't make what the government did "alright", they just make exactly what wrong they did a different issue. If the government has walked away from a policy that was, in essence, working - and avoided the hard job of explaining this to the populace, because... well, I don't know... because they thought we were too stupid to understand, then... IMHO that's even worse!

I wanted to try to bring attention to this matter again. As the election grows nearer, more and more references are going to be dragged up by the opposition in reference to this matter... but the real issue isn't that the government stuffed up their policy - it's that the government completely failed to explain how their policy, and implantation of it, was actually working.

Let's understand, and complain about, the real issue here.